Fiddle Leaf Fig Not Growing – Reasons and How to Fix It

Are you wondering why is my fiddle leaf fig not growing? Each year, fiddle leaf figs can grow a few feet under favorable conditions. Furthermore, this houseplant can reach heights of 6 feet or more in your house. If your fiddle leaf fig is not showing new growth signs, then something is wrong.

Insufficient light, low humidity, pests, and disease are the main reasons for fiddle leaf figs not growing. However, there are a few more reasons for stunted fig growth. It is also likely that you will lose the plant if you don’t find out what is wrong.

In this article, I will tell you about all the common causes of fiddle leaf figs not growing and how you can fix them so you can have healthy fiddle leaf figs that reach their full potential.

So, let’s investigate what causes stunt growth in fiddle leaf figs.

Why is my fiddle leaf fig not growing new leaves

1. Improper watering

Improper watering

Fiddle leaf figs aren’t the easiest to water. 

Overwatering fiddle leaf figs are common, and it is challenging to correct it. Taking too much water can cause root rot in plants, which is extremely harmful.

Moreover, overwatering causes the soil to be wet most of the time, leaving the leaves brown, and eventually root rot.

Additionally, when plants are underwatered, their leaves become dry, dull, and eventually fall off. However, a plant that is underwatered is faster and easier to grow than a plant that is overwatered.

How to fix

For an overwatered fiddle leaf fig, you need to reduce the watering. For this maintain a watering schedule. A weekly watering would be fine for your fiddle leaf fig. Just remember to let the soil dry before watering the plant again. For figs, a good drainage system is essential.

Additionally, in case of root rot caused by overwatering, prune off the damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh soil.

For underwatered fiddle leaf fig plants, you should gradually increase the water supply and make sure the plant gets enough humidity.

Read More: About How to Water a Fiddle Leaf Fig

2. Fungal infection on fig plant

Fungal infection on fig plant

A fungus infection occurs when roots sit in too much moisture. Often, root rot results from overwatering. When left unchecked, the decay spreads to the plant’s leaves, stunting its growth.

How to fix

Let the plant dry out for a couple of weeks if there are only a few brown spots on the leaves. This will allow the roots time to recover from the excess moisture. Additionally, check the roots for rot if these brown spots have spread beyond just a few spots.

Check Out: How to Treat Brown Spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves

3. Fertilizing Fiddle Leaf Figs incorrectly

As fiddle leaf figs grow fast, usually in spurts, they need plenty of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to grow healthy. Without it, they cannot form and produce their big, dark green leaves. 

When you don’t feed it enough fertilizer, it may suffer from droopy leaves, slow growth, yellowing leaves, and browning leaves.

Also, there have been cases where owners of fiddle leaf figs have overfed the plants with fertilizer, causing them to burn out. By overfertilizing your fiddle leaf fig, it can become stunted, weak, and wrinkled.

How to fix

Figs don’t retain soil nutrients, so they require fertilizers more often. Therefore, every week, you should fertilize your fiddle leaf fig.

For overfertilized plants make sure you wash the plant thoroughly and let it recover. Once the plant seems healthy again, you can fertilize it again after a few weeks.

Also Check: How to Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Figs

4. Figs need repotting

Figs need repotting

Another reason your fiddle leaf fig is not growing is that it has outgrown its pot. When roots are rootbound, they wrap tightly around themselves. As a result, fiddle leaf figs can no longer branch out or absorb the water nutrients they need to grow.

If your fig seems to be rootbound, look for roots poking through the top of the soil. Also, see if there are roots coming out of the bottom.

How to fix

If your fiddle leaf fig is too large for the pot, consider moving it to a bigger place. In this way, your fiddle leaf fig will have enough room to grow and become taller in its larger pot. 

However, the best option would be to fully re-pot the fiddle leaf fig plant by removing as much soil from the roots and planting it in fresh new soil. Instead of reusing the old, depleted soil, this will provide fresh nutrients for fig plants to grow on.

Moreover, when it comes to delicate plants, such as fiddle leaf figs, repotting can seem intimidating, but it isn’t as scary as you might think. So, if you want to grow fiddle leaf figs for many years, re-pot them every 2-3 years.

5. Fiddle leaf figs lack adequate light

The environment can have a great deal of impact on fiddle leaf figs. It is also possible for the lighting to affect them.

For fiddle leaf figs to grow consistently large and healthy leaves, they need to store a lot of energy through photosynthesis, which needs plenty of light.

When kept indoors, this plant thrives next to a window that gets plenty of sunlight. However, it is important not to move the plant radically when the air quality or light intensity are drastically different in one area from another.

How to fix

Initially place it in indirect light, then gradually move it to direct sunlight. By doing this, the plant will avoid trauma and eventually thrive.

Read More: About Fiddle Leaf Fig Light Requirements

6. Using the wrong potting soil

It is common for houseplant enthusiasts to use the same potting soil mix for all their plants until they realize it is not the right soil mix for figs.

Using the wrong soil will cause brown spots, drooping leaves, and slow growth in the fig plant.

How to fix

You need to understand your fiddle leaf fig’s soil requirements. After that, prepare the correct soil mix and repot the plant.

A well-draining soil with good aeration is essential for fiddle leaf fig growth. Furthermore, it should be nutrient-rich and keep roots moist.

7. Accumulation of dust and dirt on leaves

Accumulation of dust and dirt on leaves

If you don’t take good care of your fiddle leaf fig, its leaves will accumulate dust and dirt. When this occurs, fig plants cannot breathe properly, which prevents photosynthesis.

How to fix

Keep the leaves clean. To clean the leaves, wipe them with a cloth and water. Once every few months, you can also shower the plant to remove dust. Additionally, this will help keep pests away and allow the leaves to breathe.

Also Check: How To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves

8. Winter is not fig season

Warm, humid climates are the best for fiddle leaf figs, as that’s when they are the most active and grow the fastest. Besides, winter doesn’t provide the best conditions for these plants to grow.

In the winter, you may not see any growth from your fiddle leaf fig. And it’s okay! As in winter, these plants rest, since they are dormant.

How to fix

Once the winter is behind us, the fiddle leaf fig will begin growing again. Moreover, winter is the worst time to fertilize the plant because the roots will burn because the plant will not be able to use them.

9. Changes in Temperature

Temperature changes can be stressful to fiddle leaf figs. As a result, the plant may grow slower. 

When the temperature starts to drop in winter, it can be very harsh on the plant.

It is best to keep fiddle leaf figs between 60°F and 75°F. Moreover, they cannot tolerate temperatures below 50°F.

How to fix

During the winter months, use a humidifier to help the fiddle leaf figs retain some warmth.

When the weather turns cold, keep the plant away from windows and away from cold drafts.

Additionally, to avoid burning the leaves, ensure that you do not place the plant too close to the fireplace to raise the temperature.

10. Bacterial infection on fig plant

It may be due to bacterial infection if the leaves of the fiddle leaf figs turn yellow or show brown spots. Sometimes these symptoms are confused with root rot. Root rot produces dark green leaves with brown spots, while bacterial leaf spots turn the leaves yellow as the brown spots spread.

Also, the bacteria feed on the new growth of the plant. You may have a bacterial infection if your plant’s newer leaves are yellowing faster. Plants suffering from root rot and bacterial leaf spot will eventually lose their leaves.

How to fix

Remove any leaves that appear brown on your tree with clean hands and tools, then repot them into fresh soil and a clean pot.

Also, make sure your tree gets enough light and water to help it recover.

11. Pest Infestation on fiddle leaf fig

Pest Infestation on fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle leaf figs can be infected with mealybugs, spider mites, and scales. 

If your fiddle leaf fig leaves have small holes or spiderweb-like structures under them, your plant has been attacked by pests.

Additionally, you can lose your plant to a pest infestation that can reduce its growth and be deadly.

How to fix

To keep pests away from your plants, use pesticides. If you want something organic, consider using neem oil. 

Also, you can use soap water to wipe your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves, which will keep pests at bay.

12. Placing a plant in low humidity area

Tropical plants such as fiddle leaf figs thrive in humid climates. Also, there is a 75-95% humidity level in the wild for the plants.

Humidity levels between 40-60% are ideal for fiddle leaf figs, but decreasing humidity during winter inhibits the plant’s growth.

How to fix

You can increase the humidity in your home by using a humidifier. Additionally, misting the plants adds humidity to them. 

It is also beneficial to use a pebble tray to increase humidity levels.

Learn More: About Fiddle Leaf Fig Humidity Requirements

13. Sunburn causes slow growth of a plant

Sunburn causes slow growth of a plant

Sunburn occurs when fiddle leaf fig leaves turn pale or yellow and develop brown spots in areas where direct sunlight hits them.

Typically, these spots appear on the top leaves and can be red or yellow. 

How to fix

Move the plant slightly away from direct sunlight. Leaves may appear bleached when they are exposed to direct sunlight. So, it is advisable to remove the sunburned leaves and place plants that offer shade from the direct sun.

Read More: About How To Treat Sunburn On Fiddle Leaf Fig?

14. Choosing the incorrect pot size

Fiddle leaf fig roots spread out. Having a pot large enough to accommodate this will also improve the overall health of the plant, and the plant will grow larger.

However, in a small pot, the roots do not have enough space to grow and flourish. 

How to fix

Increase the pot size gradually over time to benefit the fiddle leaf fig.

15. Lack of a Proper Drainage System

As fiddle leaf figs don’t like to sit in water for too long, a sound drainage system is crucial to their health.

A lack of drainage leads to water retention, which causes root rot. It will eventually slow down the growth of the plant and cause many other problems.

How to fix

Make sure your fiddle leaf fig is potting in a pot that has good drainage. As a result, the soil will dry out between watering sessions and prevent wet feet. 

Additionally, there should be sufficient drainage holes in the planter pot to allow water to drain away. To prevent soil from clogging up the drainage holes, consider adding gravel and pebbles at the bottom of the pot.

Check Out: How To Choose the Best Pot For Fiddle Leaf Fig

16. Breathing problems with fig plants

The fiddle leaf fig needs breathing space, so remove any branches that cross over it. For healthy growth, these plants need breathing room, and crisscrossing branches will only crowd and stop fiddle leaf fig from growing.

How to fix

Use pruning shears to prune away leaves that have spots or are wilting and falling. If any leaves are damaged, prune them back. Plants will receive more nutrients this way so that they are stronger.

You need to make the cuttings an inch away from the trunk of the fiddle leaf fig tree in order to properly prune it. It is done to avoid damaging the main trunk. It may also result in stunted growth if you prune improperly. However, a well-pruned fiddle leaf fig plant will sprout more branches where the cuttings were taken.

17. Physical trauma

Stress can easily affect these plants. As a result, they lose their leaves or develop warped and curly leaves. When fiddle leaf figs are repotted or moved, they suffer a bit of trauma in their roots as a result of the repotting. 

Also, it is important for fiddle leaf figs to maintain consistency. Changes of any kind can stress or shock a plant. 

Therefore, if you want to make any changes to your fiddle leaf fig, do so gradually.

How to fix

It will be better for the plant to recover quickly and reduce stress by taking good care of it after repotting.

Few questions on fiddle leaf fig not growing 

Q1. How long does it take for a Fiddle Leaf Fig to grow new leaves?

Ans. During spring and summer, healthy fiddle plants grow new leaves every four to six weeks. It’s possible to see your plant grow several new leaves in a matter of just a few days or weeks! However, during the winter, there is no new growth.

Q2. Is Fiddle Leaf Fig slow growing?

Ans. Yes, the growth rate of the fiddle leaf fig plant is slow. Additionally, it grows up to 40 feet in height in its natural habitat in the tropics. 

Q3. Why is my fiddle leaf fig leaves so small?

Ans. If the leaves are smaller, it indicates that there is a lack of resources such as water, light, or fertilizer. So, provide your tree with the right amount of water, and indirect sunlight, and fertilize regularly.

Q4. What is wrong with my fiddle fig tree?

Ans. The most common Fiddle Leaf Fig problem is overwatering. It is common for plants to suffer from root rot if they receive too much water. Moreover, you will probably notice spots and leaf drop on older leaves first if root rot is to blame.


Fiddle leaf figs don’t grow for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, improper care is the main cause of most common causes such as improper watering, low humidity, and insufficient sunlight. By taking good care of your fiddle leaf fig plant, you would be able to eliminate a lot of the problems and have a tall fig plant at home.

If the problem is caused by bacteria, fungi, or pests, it can be treated by removing damaged parts or using a fungicide or pesticide. You can use neem oil for organic treatment. To kill bugs in plants, neem oil is widely used.

There is only one season when you don’t have to worry about growing fiddle leaf figs: winter. As fiddle leaf figs are in dormancy during winter. Simply providing the right care can prevent fiddle leaf figs from stunting their growth.

Before you leave, don’t forget to read our other fiddle leaf fig post. Also, please share this article with your friends and family.

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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